Tomorrow, the 21st of March, is the first official day of spring. With that long-awaited seasonal shift raises the questions of “what skincare changes do I need to be making?,” “why are we still letting a groundhog predict our weather (even though he’s weirdly always right),” and “what kind of sunscreen should I be using?” While I’m fairly sure that last question can be answered with “the one you will use consistently,” there are a lot of options out there for facial sunscreens, with new ones hitting the market what feels like every day.
With a shockingly great price point (ranging from £9.99 for a cleanser to £12.99 for a serum) not to mention accessibility (it’s sold online at Cult Beauty and in store at both Boots and Sephora), skincare brand BYOMA is one I recommend the most to my beauty-curious friends. The TikTok-beloved skincare label dropped early last year and has earned nothing but rave reviews ever since, thanks to its high-quality formulas that put an emphasis on simple, skin-strengthening ingredients.
BYOMA Moisturizing Gel-Cream SPF 30, £14.99
Right in time for spring, BYOMA just launched the Moisturizing Gel-Cream SPF 30, which the brand claims is the “ultimate blend of skincare, barrier care, and sun care.” If the ingredients are anything to go by, this lightweight hybrid formula is hydrating and reparative due to hyaluronic acid and beta glucan. It contains homosalate, octisalate, and avobenzone for broad-spectrum chemical protection from UVA and UVB rays, and incorporates ceramides to help restore the skin’s natural moisture levels.
We love a good sunscreen, so naturally we jumped when we were offered the exclusive chance to try it out ahead of its launch. Ahead, the Refinery29 team shares their true thoughts and feelings, and shows off what the SPF looks like on their skin, with and without makeup.
Amanda Mitchell, Senior Beauty Writer/Stories Creator
“I am a proud card-carrying sunscreen snob, but let me tell you: when I tried this sunscreen the first time, I was floored. I squealed a squeal so loud it almost shattered windows. I knew immediately that this sunscreen was going to be my entire personality for a while. It’s lightweight, but still moisturizing — I’m typically a fan of a thique moisturiser, but this one really hit the spot. It absorbs so quickly that you can apply makeup on top of it but your skin still feels deliciously nourished. This is now my go-to recommendation for anyone who wants a five-star sunscreen, but may not want to drop a bunch of coin.”
Megan Decker, Beauty Editor
“I almost don’t believe that this is sunscreen — it feels like a gel-cream moisturiser, something I’d use in the morning after an antioxidant serum and before my concealer and blush. Because it’s so lightweight, it doesn’t pill or feel heavy or sticky on my skin. I’d probably use it even if it didn’t have SPF because I like the way that my chronically dry skin looks afterwards; dewy and refreshed. All sunscreen should feel like this… maybe then everyone would wear it.”
Karina Hoshikawa, Senior Writer
“Is this sunscreen, or a fancy moisturiser? The texture of this formula is super hydrating and lotion-y, and generally felt gorgeous on my skin. I usually wear a min of SPF 50, but I’ll make an exception for BYOMA because it’s simply that good. I love that it feels nourishing but not greasy on my oily skin, and I was truly glowing after applying. It also made my makeup look extra luminous, but not in a ‘I’m wearing highlighter’ way. This was the first BYOMA product I’ve tried, but I can say confidently that it won’t be my last.”
Breanna Davis, Associate Social Editor
“This sunscreen is definitely in my top three favourite sunscreens (and I’ve been through them, okay?). I used a dime-sized amount and a little goes a long way. In addition to loving its SPF 30, I love that it’s super lightweight so my skin doesn’t feel sticky or clammy. I already like moisturisers with a heavy consistency, so it’s nice not adding another layer of something thick. I know I can confidently reapply on the go without worrying about looking like Casper the Friendly Ghost because it passed the white-cast test. My only concern was it faintly had the typical sunscreen smell, but it faded away pretty immediately.”
Annie Black, Social Editor
“As a born and raised Floridian, I know a thing or two about sunscreen. Mainly that it still gives me a bit of anxiety because, as a certified pale girlie, if I wasn’t wearing (enough) SPF I was in lobster mode for the next couple of weeks. As an adult, I will admit I am an everyday member of the Supergoop! Glow Screen cult, but I love the existing BYOMA Moisturizing Gel-Cream (the one with the green tea; I’ve emptied my current bottle) so I was excited to try this version with SPF. I popped a small amount on my face after my morning skincare and let it sink in. At first I was worried it was going to be greasy, but patience, my friends! The sunscreen soaked right into my skin as it settled, and the formula acted as a good primer for my under-eye concealer just like it should. By the end of my application, I was thoroughly impressed. With a little bit of brow powder and mascara added, I honestly feel pretty ready for my day, and will definitely add this SPF to my rotation when I don’t feel like I need as much of a bronze-goddess situation as my usual sunscreen gives.”
Urvashi Pathania, Freelance Social Editor
“I love the feeling of this gel-cream on my skin — it’s so silky and smooth. It also made my skin look super dewy and supple, no white cast in sight. The formula definitely bleeds off with a little sweat, so I wouldn’t wear this before a workout. It also pills when I layer it over my vitamin C serum, but overall I think it’s a great product for regular use on bare skin.”
Carly Danner, Host & Social Video Producer
“I can’t believe I’m about to fangirl over a sunscreen, but here we are: I can confidently say this product is that girl of 2023. It plumps. It protects. It doesn’t leave a white cast, which means I don’t have to worry about the unfortunate sunscreen-coloured sweat streaks on my neck 20 minutes after stepping outside. It layers well underneath my primer and foundation without any pilling if I wear it with makeup. If I’m wearing it solo, it gives me delicious, glowy skin that can only be achieved by a really good skincare routine or much-needed tropical vacation. I feel like this product has viral written all over it, so catch me dramatically stocking up on this one because I can’t imagine a single day without it going forward.”
Jacqueline Kilikita, Acting Beauty Director
“This reminds me of one of my all-time favourite sunscreens: Glossier Invisible Shield — just a snip of the price. The texture is featherweight, and unlike other sunscreen moisturisers, you don’t have to really work it into your skin. It sinks in almost immediately. I’m always rocking a full face of makeup, so I wanted to show you what it looks like underneath foundation and concealer. In my opinion, it’s seamless. It makes my skin dewy in all the right places, but foundation grips onto it and doesn’t slip off — even after hours of wear. I know I’ll use this right down to the very last drop, but I do have one gripe: I’d prefer SPF 50 for maximum protection.”
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by us. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, we may earn a commission.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Skincare Experts Wouldn’t Spend More Than £15 On
‘Dim Lighting’ Is LFW’s Natural, Glowing Skin Hack